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OhioChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:56 PM
Original message
US tightens L1 visa norms
Source: Times of India

9 Dec 2008, 0032 hrs IST, Mini Joseph Tejaswi & Sujit John, TNN

BANGALORE: Indian IT troubles are multiplying. The relatively liberal visa regime in the US that enabled IT services companies to send employees on client work is no longer as tolerant, partly because of the job losses in the US. The visa processing outfit, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), has become extremely stringent in screening and issuing L1 visas and L1 extensions. L1s are three-year visas meant for intra-company transfers and some 50,000 Indians are estimated to be currently in the US on these visas. About a third of them are coming up for renewal this year. Extensions are given for two years.

Almost every domestic IT firm is facing huge delays in issue of L1s and many denials. Its harassment. It has already started impacting business continuity and its a matter of time before it hits profitability and margins in the industry, said an industry expert based in California. Navneet S Chugh, attorney in The Chugh Firm, a US-based law firm, said that the California service centre of USCIS became strict about LI visas a year ago. Now the other centres in Vermont, Nebraska and Dallas too have become strict. The issue has been boiling for a while, but now its touched the zenith. They make these RFEs (request for evidence) that even include things like copies of client contract, a photo of the office in India, an organisational chart indicating who the applicant reports to, details of his tax returns. Some RFEs go up to seven pages, and if there are 10 requests on one page, you can imagine the work required.

In many cases, Chugh says, the information they seek under RFEs is already part of the original filing. But they dont look at that. And even after furnishing the same information again, visas are denied. The denial rate is as high as 50% for some companies, says Chugh.

Stella Nagesh, head of immigration (Asia Pacific) in Perot Systems, admits the issuance process of L1 visas has become stringent. Many Indian companies are finding it tough. We are taking extreme care in cross-checking application particulars so that we are able to eliminate rejections or RFEs.

Indian IT companies have been relying increasingly on L1 because in the past two years, the H1B visa has been getting exhausted within the first two days of the start of filing. H1Bs, which allow US employers to employ foreign guest workers in speciality occupations, are capped at 65,000 visas per year. This year, the USCIS received 1,50,000 applications for H1Bs. L1s dont have a limit, and L1 filing cost at $300 is a fraction of that of H1 at $2,200. According to Ravi Prasad, resident partner and immigration expert at Jay Sagar Associates, IT companies have been exploring alternative visa options like L (intra-company transfer), J (visas meant for specialists/domain experts).


Read more: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Business/US_tightens...
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superconnected Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:59 PM
Response to Original message
1. Good. Nearly all of my other co-workers have been replaced by people on L1 visas doing the same job
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 06:59 PM by superconnected
Our company hires them in india then sends them to take over US jobs right here in Bothell, WA.
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krkaufman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. That is seriously messed-up. n/t
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iwillalwayswonderwhy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:59 PM
Response to Original message
2. Navneet S Chugh, attorney in The Chugh Firm starting new website
Indian/AmericanMatch.com
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Azlady Donating Member (889 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:37 PM
Response to Original message
3. I am happy to read this -
that not only the H1b program is being investigated but that other worker visa programs are being looked at.
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ChromeFoundry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:44 PM
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4. Good. n/t
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47of74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 01:24 AM
Response to Original message
6. Cry me an F-ing river...
They can cry me an F-ing river. There are plenty of people here who are willing and able to do such work.
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ihavenobias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 10:41 AM
Response to Original message
7. K & R
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